French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin will not be participating in the remaining two UMP debates this month. This statement comes after sevaral days of speculation that he would participate in the one on December 15. "Today, where I can be most useful, it is in the exercise of my responsibility as Prime Minister." Villepin was also asked about polls that show Nicolas Sarkozy and Segolene Royal far ahead of the pack, but he brushed off their significance: "One re-sifts, one can always have fun with statistics but it is to better speak about the concrete problems of the French." This will come as some relief to Sarkozy, who now will have one less hindrance to his January victory.
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